If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself lately, it’s that I have no patience for complicated recipes or crafts. That’s why most of the recipes on my blog feature few ingredients or prep time and it’s why my cocktails can be easily replicated. No fuss, no mess, just sweet sips and simple fun. As for DIY, I prefer to not wait overnight for something to be ready or something that requires me to set aside time to craft in shifts. I like things that are unique, fun, and fast! So, when I received a kit from Plaid Crafts full of Mod Podge Collage Clay, I was a little intimidated. My fears slipped away when I realized that this was a project that not only I could do, but it was something that didn’t take a lot of time. Oh, and there was glitter, bright colors, and Florida seashells!
The shells came in the form of a mold where I could create embellishments that could be painted or left as is. I instantly knew I was going to take some of the shell souvenirs we have around our home and actually DO something with them. Since we live in Florida, we have established a bit of a shell collection. They’re fun to collect, but I never know where to put them afterward. If you’re planning a Florida vacation or another seaside trip, use your finds to decorate your home. I love aqua and coastal decor, so shells are a natural fit. Also, it’s totally okay to “borrow” some sand from the beach. I once had a friend fly to Hawaii and bring back a suitcase of sand. I have no idea whatever happened to it, but Hawaii said was so different than Florida sand that I actually wanted some for a vase!
I’d love to share some of my favorite Florida shells with you and inspire you to use Mod Podge to create your own vacation jar.
My entire kit came with mod molds to create embellishments using Mod Melts (it’s made of durable, easy to use silicone), drizzle paint to add extra drama and dimension to designs, and collage clay which is a lightweight whipped clay great to use for Decoden, 3D Collage, Assemblage Arts, 3D Stenciling and more. You can find all of these products at Michael’s.
For my memory jar DIY, I could have used every single item I received. Yet, I ended up just using the molds, the drizzle paint, and the mod melts. As for my own supplies, I used a high temp mini glue gun, my own jars, sand (totally got this from the nearby beach!), and shells we found on past adventures.
It was very simple to fill the molds with the mod melts. I used a mixture of glitter and opaque melts to create a variety of colors. I found that I preferred the blue and purple colors after a few rounds.
And, believe it or not, it wasn’t that messy. This picture is a bit misleading since my camera captured every grain of glitter, but it was so simple! They also dried in about ten minutes.
After those ten minutes, you just pop them out of the molds. Voila! These little guys had a little “extra” material that I just trimmed away with scissors (and promised myself to be more careful with the next batch).
Besides these little trinkets, I was going to mix in some of my own treasures that we found near the sea.
Those three are some of the most popular shells here in Florida. We have others, like the Florida Fighting Conch, junonia, and our state shell, the Horse Conch, that are all beautiful as well. If you ever find a junonia, consider yourself lucky! They’re a rare find and a true treasure.
I used two jars for this project. I wanted a tall, narrower look for decor. I also wanted a fun fish tank just for display as well.
I filled each container with Florida sand and added in a few of the pieces I made from the molds and the mold melts. I thought the nautical inspired embellishments looked great on their own, but you could add glitter, paint, or even some of the techniques that Plaid Crafts suggests.
Creating a vacation jar with sand, shells, and Mod Podge embellishments
The last step? Add an octopus to the lid! You can take this DIY one step further and embellish the outside of the jars. The idea is to “decoden” with these items. Decoden is the art of decorating anything with trinkets, and “the more the merrier” is the name of the game in designing an over the top look in this 3D collage technique. Use Collage Clay with Mod Melts, trinkets, buttons, rhinestones, and anything else you can think of!